A Mighty Avalanche Of Bluetooth-Enabled iHome Toys Is Thundering (And Lightning) Toward You [CES 2013]


That big purple-looking boombox is the iBT44.

CES 2013 bug LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – Apple accessory powerhouse iHome unleashed a mighty avalanche of products last night, the lion’s share of which was Bluetooth in nature. Highlights from the deluge include a Bluetooth version of the perennially popular iMH series portable speakers and the quirky iBT44, a Bluetooth boombox — not simply a Bluetooth-equipped speaker that some marketing guru has slapped the term with, but an honest-to-goodness, FM-equipped stereo circa 1983, only covered in rubber. Oh, and there was also a double-Lightning clock-dock. And Bluetooth headphones. And more Bluetooth speakers. And regular speakers.

First, the attention-demanding iBT44 boombox. Actually a retooling of their non-Bluetooth iP4PZ boombox but without the physical dock connector, and a Bluetooth connection in its place. The iHome folks weren’t quite sure whether the little device slot in the unit was big enough for a Samsung Galaxy Note; an iPhone 5 though? No problem. It’ll run on six (six!) D batteries and can charge your device via USB. $200.

Then there’s the iBT88, a Bluetooth version of the iMH-series wired portable speaker sets. The pair sniks together magnetically for transport and comes with its own bag. At $60, they’re $10 more than the wired versions.

Finally, the IDL100 FM stereo clock-dock comes with three separate ways to charge your plethora of devices: two Lightning docks and a USB port for your older, crappier iDevices that don’t have Lightning connections. No Bluetooth on this one, but then, two Lightning docks. And apparently they’re expensive, because the IDL100 is $150.

There were more speakers and headphones; but also, there were other gadget manufacturers, and frankly we didn’t want to spend the entire night speaking with the iHome folks, charming though they may be.

The Lightning-slathered iDL100

The Lightning-slathered iDL100.


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About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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